Title: Kiss Me On This Cold December Night
Author: Charlotte Phillips
Publisher: HarperCollins UK, HarperImpulse
Release Date: December 12, 2013
Source: eARC via NetGalley
The third novella in Charlotte Phillips’ deliciously sensual Do Not Disturb series.
Christmas in London – a time for late night shopping on Regent’s Street or ice skating at Somerset House under a blanket of twinkling fairy lights, the warming, welcoming aroma of mulled wine in the air…
Or, alternatively, a time for bumping into the ghosts of one night stands past in Ella Scott’s case!
Checking into her boutique hotel for a weekend of Christmas shopping, the last person Ella expects to bump into at reception is Tom bloody Henley – ambitious doctor, highly eligible bachelor and with whom she had the most unbelievable, mind-blowing brief encounter five Christmases ago.
But Ella slipped out quietly the morning after all those years ago for a reason and although Tom’s got a look on his face that suggests Christmas has come early, there’s no way she’s going to be repeating past mistakes… right?
Bad weather has stranded our two main characters in the same city and in the same hotel. Their chance encounter at the hotel lobby as they check-in to their rooms echoes their chance encounter five Christmases ago when they enjoyed each other’s company and each other on a one night stand that turned out to mean more to them than what they had initially thought.
Tom Henley is up to his neck in pressure from his job and his family, which most of the time he equates as the same. His life has been one big plan since practically from the day he was born. His grandfather was a doctor, his father is a doctor, and now he’s also a doctor. He knows he is expected to continue on with the family tradition and take up his father’s practice especially now that his father just had a stroke. And although he would love nothing more than to join Doctors without Borders, he’s the kind of man and son who could not really turn back from his family. The one spontaneous thing he seemed to have done in a long time was that one great night he spent with Ella Scott, who had disappeared in the morning after without even a by-your-leave or any sort of goodbye.
Ella Scott is an independent and free-spirited person. She has learned to rely on herself most, if not all, of the time. She chooses not to be tied down by the past and distinctly separates that with the present and the future. But the one thing that she can’t seem to shake off from her past was the night she spent with Tom Henley.
Their single encounter left a deep imprint and impression on them without them even realizing it at the outset. I love how Charlotte Phillips slowly revealed the depth and the impact of that encounter and what it has really meant for the two of them. I appreciate that at the outset, that single night seemed all about the sex but it turned out to be a deeper connection.
I also appreciate that the story is realistic enough not to spout on instant love and fairy tale endings with just that one night as basis. The author could have gone there for the good feelings but I’m glad that she did not. Yes, fate was mentioned a couple of times but it did not become the basis for the romance. The end was as it was because the characters chose it themselves.
This novella is sweet, touching, and in some ways, inspiring. Here are two different persons, amid their ‘busy’ (in their own way) lives who really find peace in each other’s company. Their story reflects on lessons about following your heart and taking chances in life. It’s a light-hearted treat perfect as a Holiday read.
Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars
About the author:
I have always loved stories and as a child when I wasn’t reading them I was making up my own, usually with myself as the heroine. I started out with the Famous Five, then in my teens I discovered the Sweet Dreams series – my first encounter with category romance. I re-read ‘The Popularity Plan‘ by Rosemary Vernon until it fell to bits.
Eventually I graduated to Mills & Boon novels. I have always loved the sheer delicious happy-ever-afterness of them and as a student in my early twenties I dabbled with writing my own story. It was never finished, and I did nothing with it until a couple of years ago when I stopped work to have my youngest daughter and I found time to dust off the manuscript. I finished it and sent it off to Mills & Boon .
It was finally rejected after two rounds of revisions but I was spurred on and soon after that I entered Mills & Boon’s global writing competition New Voices 2011. I never believed I was in with a chance and no one could have been more shocked than me when I ended up in the final 4. After the competition, I was lucky enough to be offered the chance to work with a Mills & Boon editor on a new story, developing my skills as I went along. That story was my debut novel ‘Secrets of The Rich & Famous’. When it was finished Mills & Boon RIVA offered me a contract and to my absolute excitement it was published in December 2012. Since then, I have continued to write books for Harlequin KISS/Mills & Boon Modern Tempted.
I’ve continued to experiment with my writing and in early 2013 I began writing a series of contemporary sexy stories for HarperImpulse, a brand new romance imprint from Harper Collins.
My writing is fuelled by lots of coffee and years of daydreaming during my past life in a string of office jobs. All my books are the kind I love to read – funny, engaging it-could-happen-to-you stories and if they brighten someone’s day, that’s good enough for me :0) I live in Wiltshire, England, where I squash my writing in between looking after my family, who have been taught not to notice that I’m rubbish at housework. I also have a bit of an addiction to American TV shows and timesuck social media games and it’s really a miracle I get anything done at all.